At Westlake Family Dental Care, preventing and treating tooth decay and gum disease are our primary goals. Although occasionally, gum disease or decay may have gone too far and one or multiple teeth would need to be extracted. When this happens, Dr. Jenn & Dr. Leah will help you through the next steps and discuss your options for replacing those teeth.
Generally, after a tooth is extracted there are three options to replace it:
- Implant – An implant is a titanium piece that is implanted into the bone where a tooth used to be and then a crown is placed on top. The implant is placed into the bone by an oral surgeon or periodontist, and the crown will be added at Westlake Family Dental Care. Implants are a very popular restorative option and are the most like the natural tooth. However, this is the most expensive replacement option.
- Bridge – A bridge consists of crowns on the teeth adjacent to the space where a tooth used to be. Attached to these crowns is a fake tooth that spans the empty space (like a bridge). A bridge requires a little more attention to keep clean, but is permanently cemented in (unlike a partial denture).
- Partial denture – Partial dentures are an excellent option when finances are tricky and/or multiple teeth are missing. This is a removable plate of acrylic or metal with false teeth attached. They look natural and allow more comfort with chewing. The cons are that a partial is removable and does not afford the same chewing efficiencies as implants or bridges.